#1 Account - Meeting at Linwood, California, October 15, 1978
Spoken by CLEM GEUE
Sam Jones was born in Portadown, N Ireland in 1877 and died April 14-1946 (69 yrs old) in Rockingham, Western Australia
Overseeer of Western Australia
I count it a very great privilege to be with you this evening. I feel I have been greatly enriched since I have come to this country by the wonderful fellowship I have been able to enjoy. It is wonderful to gather here and feel we are all part of this. great family. This family is something of a mystery to the world and to us it is a miracle, how God ever called us by the gospel and put something in us that is of Himself and bound us together in one great family.
There are two verses I would like to mention, I John 5:20-21. "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols". These words were written by John in his old age. Some say he was about 90 years at this time and he was looking back upon a lifetime of experiences With the God of heaven and a relationship with Jesus Christ. "We know that the Son of God is come," was written with a wonderful assurance for his future, and regarding his relationship with Christ, he could say, "We know we are in him that is true.” This wonderful relationship had led him on to that great God of eternal life. This was a great comfort in his old age. In the world today so many have no time for old people and old age can be a pathetic thing, overtaken by loneliness and no one caring, but old age in the family of God can be a beautiful thing with the assurance that when life's sun has set the best is yet before them and they will be great inheritors of eternal life.
These verses were a living reality to my parents as a result of them hearing the gospel through that great hymn writer, Sam Jones. They acknowledged this fact when they first met him, that the Son of God had come. If someone had asked me this question in my youth, if He had come, I would have said, "Yes.” To prove it, I would have said that I had heard my parents say He was born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, etc. and that I had read it in the Bible, but He had not come in reality. "I know that the Son of God is come," was based on an experience. That was what my parents longed to hear and to be lead into, this experience of knowing that He had come in reality and truth through the gospel and knocked at their heart's door wanting to lead them into a living relationship with God. I am glad that the time in my own youthful experience came when I knew He had come. Many of the people of the world dispute that He has come.
In Ceylon where I have labored, there are many people who are Buddhists who do not believe in the Son of God. They believe He has come as a prophet or a teacher but not as the Son of God because they feel there is no God. We feel sad to think of all those people, even atheists, who deny the existence of the Son of God. Then so many religious people like my parents know He has come in the past, but they can't claim any living relationship with Him in their own experience. John knew He had come because of what He had done for them. He had given them an understanding of His mind and the purpose of life and the path He wanted them to go. That is how we can explain and definitely share our knowledge on an experience and be given a hope for the future.
He mentions three times the word "true". Even in John's days as it had been in Jesus' day, there was much that was not true. There were teachers who were false, saying one thing and doing another. Jesus called them hypocrites. John said to try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world. I like the writing of John in his gospel where he mentions three things of Jesus he had proved true - 1:9 John the Baptist saying of Jesus, "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world". John 6:32, "but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven." John 15:1, "I am the true vine," and then John 4:23, "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth...." It speaks about the true light, the true bread and the true vine, then the true worshippers. John was trying to instill a confidence in Jesus Christ in the people to whom he was writing so they would be able to put their hope and confidence in someone who would never be a disappointment. Everything Jesus claimed to be, He proved to be. What He said so many hundred years ago, we can prove in our own experience. We know He has come because He has done these things for us. When we read of the true Light, we know there are false lights, not what they claim to be.
One of the saddest letters I have read was telling of a friend of ours who sat in the gospel meetings with the one writing and myself. We realized then that Jesus was the true Light. Now he wrote of this friend and there were other lights that appealed more, glittered more - the lights of pleasure, sports, etc. She turned her back on Jesus who could have been the true light, and she followed these other lights. When this friend wrote, she unfolded this sad story of our friend being stricken with cancer and only having a very short time to live. She had called this other friend and poured out her sad story and finished by saying, "It's growing darker, it's growing darker." The lights that had seemed so wonderful had left her and eternity was closing in on her. Jesus is absolutely true and does not disappoint when He says, "I am the true light." "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect days." The perfect day is yet to come with no more death, sorrow, crying, pain, etc. It tells us of that city with no need of the sun or moon, no night there. The glory of the Lamb is the light thereof. All that afflicts us in this life of pain and sorrow is not known on that eternal day, the perfect day. I like to think that is what Jesus leads us into as we follow that true Light. My parents were groping in darkness and it was growing darker, but God in His love and mercy showed them that) true Light. Then we read of the bread of life. He was speaking to people before whom He had done the miracle of the loaves and fishes. They learned nothing spiritual from it. He knew that they sought Him only because of the natural miracle. Jesus told them He was the bread of life and they were disbelieving. They knew His origin, His parents, occupation, etc. How could He be the bread of life, but He said it again and that He that eateth thereof shall never hunger again and shall live forever... two wonderful promises. He that partakes of Jesus receives a satisfaction in their heart that makes them feel they have the gift of eternal life and He is their satisfying portion. "I am the true vine." "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit." Fruit gives evidence that it is the living thing as it abides in the vine. It just means we give ourselves to Jesus and He gives Himself to us and it brings a close union - that's the source of eternal life. John 4, what we should be to Him - true worshippers. When Jesus spoke about true worshippers, He meant that there were false worshippers also. This was a puzzled woman. She said they were Samaritans and they worshipped in one place and the Jews said another, why the division? Jesus said God was a Spirit and sought those who would worship Him in spirit and in truth. When Jesus becomes the true Light and we follow Him and He is our satisfying portion, our true bread, and we abide in Him as the true vine, then we receive the spirit that enables us to be the true worshippers. Jesus spoke of the Scribes and Pharisees and called them hypocrites - one giving a false impression outwardly of what he was "inwardly. God works upon the heart and desires us to be true within and without. They drew near with their mouth and lips but their hearts were far from Him, worshipping in vain. It was a false worship because it was from the lips outward.
This is what my people longed to know. They were in darkness with no satisfaction of heart, with no living relationship with Christ. They were part of a great German migration that left Germany in 1851-52 that settled in South Australia in closely-knit communities. They called the districts after Bible names and I was born and grew up in Bethel, or “The House of God". Time and time again, it was proven that it was the house of strife. The people disagreed with their minister and among themselves regarding the word of God. At the time my father took an interest in religious affairs, he was concerned about this awful darkness that was overtaking him and he began searching. I like Ps. 14:2, "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God." I like to think God's eyes are going to and fro upon the earth to see if there are any who understand and seek after God. My parents were seeking after that which they felt could be a reality and give them this living relationship, that could lighten their darkness. They had formality, traditions, sermons, and wonderful preaching; all of which went over their heads and didn't touch their hearts.
God was also looking down on Ireland and finding those seeking Him. In Belfast in 1902, among others who responded to the gospel was Sam Jones. It was that year that he yielded to the claims of God and went forth to preach the gospel according to the way Jesus said. As a result of mixing among God's people here, I have become more and more conscious that this Kingdom is built and maintained upon sacrifice. It was founded on sacrifice by God being moved by love to send His Son down to this world, John 3:16. Jesus was willing to found that Kingdom of His on sacrifice, moved by a sin-stricken people in this sin-darkened world. In His love He reached out to the sad, sick, lonely and needy and He gave them the healing they needed. In our day, we know those who have gone forth with the gospel in that same humble way of Jesus to preach the gospel, forsaking home, country, and kindred and bringing the gospel to those who are needy. Sam Jones was such. He was a landscape gardener in his early life and he received a great love for nature. He planted flowers wherever he went and saw the great handiwork of God in nature which brought out a great love for His Creator. He was moved in 1908 to go out to Australia and that's when he landed in Western Australia where I now labor. It was still very much in the pioneering stage, there were very few cars and modes of travel were very primitive. It was vastly different than the green countryside of Ireland. Something had gripped his heart, the love of God. Love doesn't count it a sacrifice to carry the gospel to those who are waiting.
1908 was fruitless in a sense for Sam. He was never very well and it was years later when he died in Rockingham, 30 miles south of Perth, the place where he was told he could have meetings, but he found it unresponsive. They walked to this place and his companion felt it was too difficult to continue so he said to Sam Jones, "I can't continue, I will go back to Ireland,” so Sam gave him his last money. This was a young immature man, but Sam went on, urged by the love of God to find those who desired what he had found in Christ. For two nights he slept in a dry riverbed with no comforts. He fell ill and some gypsies found him and nursed him back to health until he could find the other workers. At the end of 1908 he was invited to go to South Australia to the first convention to be held in 1909. They asked Sam Jones if he would like to remain there to preach, so he began there and that's now where we have the first written record of his hymns. We found some of his old writings. One which we have just sung, #254, he wrote underneath that he wrote it in Gladstone in 1909. That was living and real to him as he expressed his experiences, "‘Twas life I got, not theory". "Now I've a tender Shepherd who leads to pastures new, His voice, it is my comfort, His hand, 'tis strong and true". He felt the guidance of that outstretched hand. Human reasoning would have said it was all in vain. He acknowledged the fact that he had received life and the spirit of God was leading him. "I long to follow closer, still nearer to His side, I never can forsake Him, He is my Guide." Those last four words were the governing force of his life. He knew his efforts to find souls had been fruitless, but he wanted to keep on.
It was drawing closer to the time where my father felt if only they could find the true Light. They felt the relationship in their church was just a superficial thing. They were just worshipping but not true worshippers. Going back to that district, it had known a lot of upheaval for a long while. When the land was parcelled out in so many hundred acre lots, the center one hundred acres were vested in church property. The community had the governing rights, but the farmers farmed it and the proceeds went as the minister's salary and for the upkeep of the church, etc. The years went by and the minister was getting old but laying his plans carefully. He told the committee they were busy with their own farms and he suggested they put it all in his name and he could pay the bills, etc., and give them the statement at the end of the year. They trusted him and felt it would ease their burdens. Then he became older and they felt he should retire, so they sent for a young minister who could preach well, had personality, etc. The man was on his way and the committee went and told the minister they wanted him to retire. He said they hadn't told him this and he wasn't retiring. They told him they were governing this. He said they didn't trust him. He began to get stubborn and it led to hot words and he told them it was his property and his home and he was staying. So they said they would take him to court and the judge said he had a watertight case because they had signed it into his name and they couldn't do a thing. They took it to the high court though couldn't afford it. The judge said the same thing, but he added this, "He has acted as a man without a single Christian principal and betrayed the trust you have put upon him".
It was at that stage my father was so disappointed that all they had upheld and pinned their hopes upon had fallen apart. The darkness seemed to be closing in. They didn't know Sam Jones was saying, "He is my guide," and the gap was slowly closing between him and my father, every mission fruitless and coming closer. He got off the train near our town and was told to go six miles in another direction and there was a group of German religious people who were fighting among themselves. He didn't say, “Who are these Germans, and if they are fighting there is not hope of helping them". He went on. He saw my father working in a field and introduced himself and said he was looking for a place to have meetings. My father asked who he represented and he said he represented Christ and was preaching the gospel for the love of Jesus. It was those words that struck a cord in my father's heart as he told him of those who just preached for money. He suggested going to the new minister and asking for the church because if he preached for the love of Jesus he should be given a hearing. He also suggested approaching the head of the band hall as their music played such a large part in all their social gatherings and they only used it once or twice a week. My father told me he said, "If they won't give it to you, you come and have meetings in our home". It seemed such a grand theme for anyone to preach for the love of Jesus that anyone would open their door. By evening he was back and said the minister refused to give the church as he could supply the needs of the district and the chairman of the band hall said it wasn't given out for religious services. So my father opened his home. It was unheard of that an Irish man could come and preach to a tightly-knit German community.
Sam Jones had a young companion, Jim Valance, in his second year in the work, who was not gifted to speak, and often became tongue-tied halfway through his message and his thoughts would forsake him. Sam would say, "Sit down, Jim, for a while and we'll sing a hymn and maybe you can gather your thoughts and try again." That spoke volumes to my father. They realized it was only the love of God that urged that young man to try again. The earnestness touched their heart, so different from the high-flung oratory of their minister that never touched the depths of their hearts. Sam lived his words and his great theme was the love of God. The minister heard the great commotion - some for and some against. He never came once to hear, but he let it be known he was going to hold a service and expose Sam Jones and Jim Valance for what they were. So he began his service by saying that they had two foreigners and warned the people they were wolves in sheep's clothing, hypocrites of the worst kind, and had come to tear the flock apart. My father knew it was all false because he had seen their spirit and heard their words. Finally, he could take no more so he jumped up and walked out and others did the same, 24 in all. The minister called after them, "Come back, you poor lost sheep, come back." They never saw them again but he said they would be back in six months. Sam Jones tested the meeting that night and they all stood up again, making that the day of their decision. That really tore the minister apart.
My father had been a bandmaster, choir leader in the church; music was his life and passion. He realized this had governed in his life to the degree where God wasn't getting the place He should have. He got rid of all the worldly music he had. It was then Sam Jones brought that hymn to my father, "No Reputation," and my father set the music to it. They no longer had any reputation in the community and Sam could see it and he presented Jesus who made Himself of no reputation and took upon Himself the form of a servant. It was this that encouraged my parents to feel that they were willing for this. Now a relationship was established between an Irishman and a German that lasted until the end of their lives. Sam died in 1946.
In that mission a girl's heart was gripped but she sensed her parents were bitter, her father was the one who had refused the band hall to Sam. She was convinced this was the truth and she told her parents she wanted to go to the meetings and they said she couldn't go. They said if she didn't go with them she had to just stay at home. She stayed home as a prisoner for two years until she could earn her own way and then she later offered her life for the harvest field. My parents heard the gospel soon after they were married and decided in April 1910. I was born in November of 1910. Right from the beginning I was able to be instructed in the right way. When I was born my mother called her younger sister to come and help, probably I was a bit difficult to manage. They took her to the meetings and she made her choice for God. When she returned to her home and told her father, he wrote one of the most hostile letters to my father possible, saying he was responsible for the homes torn apart and people being set against each other and that there was no unity in the district anymore. My father could have said there was none before. He said his daughter wasn't going to another meeting. Soon after, my uncle got caught up in an oil engine and was torn apart, another brother was killed while working his horses and a wheel came over him; this broke my grandfather down to let my aunt go to meetings. She rode 25 miles on a bicycle to go. This drew two girls together - Freida Smit (Schmidt) and my aunt, Olga Hastings. They went to Germany in 1924 to preach and labored there 52 years. Arnold Scharmen wrote to me two years ago and invited me to conventions in Germany and said I could bring them back because their strength was gone, and he wanted them to spend their last days in their homeland, which I did. They were able to have that last convention and my auntie died three months after and Frieda Smit (Schmidt) ten months later. Both are buried beside my parents, aunt and uncle, all of whom walked out of the church that day. They maintained the Kingdom by sacrifice because of the wonderful love that gripped their hearts.
One of the grand themes of Sam's hymns was of the love of God. "Boundless is His love and mercy, deeper than the deepest sea, vast unending, never failing, sure for all eternity. Not beyond the love of Jesus, His unmeasured wealth of love; Sweet the thought my heart retaineth, I am not beyond Thy love." Sam seemed to be so captivated by the love of God as he wrote that hymn. He finishes, "Love begets the love He asketh, Lord, I yield without delay." Think of that love which moves us to love Him in return. I love Him because He first loved me. No. 166, five times, "I love" the perfect way, to follow, the path, His Holy Name, my shepherd true. "He is My Guide." Sam didn't choose the pleasant surroundings of Ireland, but he made God's choice his choice. No. 171, "He redeemed me, oh, what mercy, greater love could never be." No. 250, "He found me in a desert land...Oh love supreme, Oh sovereign grace which brought my Saviour from on High... " Sam has written about 300 hymns and we have about 90 in our book.
I would count No. 157 one of the most precious in our book, "I'm satisfied in Jesus now." It was written in the southern part of Australia in a very prosperous place where it was hard to get a batch of any kind, so someone suggested a horse stable where they could camp and they cleaned it up enough to stay for the night. They made themselves comfortable and stayed there for a period and he there wrote these words, "I'm satisfied in Jesus now," among the horses and under those conditions. "My restless soul is calm and still, my weary heart has found its home, my joy it is to do His will... Oh! fellowship supremely sweet, Oh! matchless love so pure divine, My soul has found a sure retreat, the lowly Jesus now is mine."
Human nature works opposite from divine nature...another poet, Adam Lindsay Gordon, was a very skillful writer who loved his horses and did many daring things. He wrote poetry and found a retreat where his home was built and to this day it is a tourist attraction. I have seen it - one room is devoted to his poetry. One little verse is outstanding when he was thinking about life, "Life is mostly froth and bubble. Two things stand like stone, kindness in another's trouble and courage in your own." It was sad to think life was mostly froth and bubble as far as he was concerned. He lived in high society, beyond his means and faced bankruptcy. He couldn't stand the shame, so one morning he took a gun and on the beach shot himself. "Kindness in another's trouble, courage in your own." He had only a man-made courage and the only way out was the coward's way. I had the opportunity of seeing the stables where Sam had stayed and I looked at the place he wrote that hymn, so uninviting, but his soul had found a sure retreat, so different than this other man's retreat - when troubles came he couldn't face them. Sam's body was weak and sick and he often faced many troubles. In London, a few years ago, we passed Westminister Abbey and my friend said we should go see where kings and queens were buried. In the poet's corner there was this man in marble, Adam Lindsay Gordon. Hardly anyone read his poetry, but Sam is living to us because he gave his life in sacrifice and his hymns are sung every day.
In 1946 Sam was back in West Australia carrying the burden of the oversight there, but conscious that his strength was going and the pain around his heart was increasing. They didn't have the treatment then that they do now and it was Sunday morning when he told the friends with whom he was staying he wasn't able to go to the meeting because of the pain. So he decided to go for a walk in the woods. When they got back they couldn't find him in the home; they found him among the wild flowers with a bunch of flowers in his hand. The postmortem revealed a growth around his heart that brought such intense pain, but he struggled on all those years and brought the message to my parents which brought such hope even to my brother and my twin sisters and now their children. (One sister is in the work in Ceylon.) The love of God in Sam Jones moved them to surrender and brought the love of God to them. It was this love in our home life that drew our hearts to the gospel. I made my choice at age 12. Our parents did say they could tell us what was right and wrong, but they could not make the choice for us.
John closed the last verse in his epistle, ''Keep yourselves from idols." My father had a trumpet he loved. He sold it. My cousins tried to draw us into the world of music but my father explained to us they would play good music today and the next day it would be for a dance and then someone would want us to dance. I wanted a trumpet and I asked my father why he sold his. He said it was his idol, he polished it and played it at every turn. If it had been under control, it would have been all right, but it was his idol and took God's place. He taught us to play the piano because of what had been an idol to him could be one to us. It seemed hard to us in youth, but soon we understood.
At 12, I felt I would never have much of a testimony because I hadn't been called out of a religious darkness as my people. But looking back now, I feel I got a personal testimony even as a child when the love of God gripped my heart. I can say, "I love my Shepherd true, His choice my choice shall be." Following in the way Jesus went, I realized it would bring a certain amount of reproach even among our relatives - we hadn't been sprinkled and confirmed. But we pitied them because they didn't have a living relationship with God, a love for the servants and for His way in the world. Little by little we were led on to what has become more and more precious to us. I have gone on sometimes weakly and sometimes feebly.
Looking back on all those years preaching in different places, I can say that this fellowship is supremely sweet and there are assurances that as our last days are closing in, they can be as a beautiful sunset. I want to keep sacrifice in my own life, possible only as the love of God grips my heart. I am very grateful I have had this privilege of being with you and maybe it has given you a little understanding of the love of God that can be traced in Sam Jones' hymns and this may strengthen you in the days to come, for Jesus' sake.
#2 Account - Marion, Wisconsin Convention, 1978
Spoken by CLEM GEUE
It goes back to the years of 1850, '51 and '52, when there was a big migration of Germans, people from Germany, over to South Australia, and they settled in communities in various areas and they gave these areas Bible names because they were highly religious people. The district where my people lived was called Bethel, which means the "House of God". Another one was Bethany; one was Ebenezer, and so it went on--quite large areas of German-speaking people. And they were very religious too; they belonged mainly to the Merabian religion.
Some of these folks were Lutherans, and so on. My folks lived in the district, which was called Bethel meaning "House of God", but it proved that it was anything, but that. If anything, it should have been called the "House of strife", because they had so much trouble amongst themselves religiously.
It was in the year 1908 that our writer, Sam Jones, left Ireland. He had heard the Gospel in the little town of Portadown, out from Belfast, so he was a Northern Irishman. And it was marvelous how God worked to move him to bring the Gospel to that German community - an Irishman amongst the Germans. It was the beginning of a wonderful bond of fellowship and friendship that lasted while Sam lived, and while my father was able to correspond with him. Because my father and mother were his first converts. And in the year 1908 Sam Jones came to Western Australia, and it was at the time, too, when things were still very difficult.
It was still the pioneering age; there were very few motor cars, and transport was difficult. So when Sam Jones and his companion landed there, they were told that in the southern part of our city of Perth was a little village where they probably could have meetings, so the only way to go was to walk. But there was very little response there, or hardly any. So, by this time, his companion felt that he couldn't face the hard conditions any longer there. So he said to Sam that he felt he couldn't go any further; so Sam gave him the last bit of money they had and Sam struggled on alone. For two nights, we hear, he slept in a dry riverbed - no place to stay.
So he fell ill and some Gypsies found him or met up with him, and they looked after him until he could recover sufficiently, that he could meet the other workers. And that brought him to the end of 1908. 1909 was the first convention in my home state. And there wasn't any in Western Australia, so the workers that were there were invited to South Australia to that first convention. And then Sam Jones remained in South Australia, and he was there for the next 20 years. And in 1909 was that first convention.
And we have that first record of Sam in South Australia in that hymn he wrote. We have found the books; he was a great writer. And the reason why he wrote so much, it seems to be, is that he suffered a great deal with a heart condition which they were not able to treat in those days. So, he never slept very well most times. And in his waking hours he often wrote some of his hymns and his writings. Now this is the first hymn we found in which he wrote (72), "The Truth of God so Precious I value More Each Day." And in this book that we have found he has written this hymn in his own handwriting. He has written, "It is one of my first hymns, written in the town of Gladstone, South Australia, in 1909." So we knew then that he worked in the little districts of that state of which our community is at the bottom end of it. So that was about 100 miles north of my people.
You remember that hymn says "The Truth of God so Precious, I value more each day" and the last line is, "Now I've a Tender Shepherd Who Leads to Pastures New." I like the last two lines especially, where it says, "I never can forsake Him, He is My Guide." And that was Sam's motto right from the time he left Ireland - "He is my guide" - These words.
All those hard conditions, lonely times, never made him give up, but kept moving on. And the fact that he had said, "He is my guide" moved him to keep coming closer and closer to our district. Sam got off at the railway train at Stockport, which is six miles from our home.
He asked the people in that area, if he could have a mission in that place, but they said, "You go over to that district of Bethel; there's a community of Germans there that are fighting among themselves, and they seem to be in great disunity." Now it happened like this, that when they took out residence in that country in 1850 and 1851, they were the first pioneers, and it was surveyed in 100 acre farms, and each had a farm like that and settled there. But in the center of it, they had built a church - in the center of these hundred acre blocks.
A church, a school, a minister's residence, a band hall, and a teacher's residence. They were all very musical and all brought their bands from Germany. And then they had their social gatherings and played for all the religious festivals. There was a minister there at that time, and he seemed to be a very clever kind of man, and he had told these farmers, "You've all your own farms and all your business to tend to; if you put these 100 acres in my name, I can collect the receipts and I can pay out the accounts and I'll give you the results of it at the end of the year." So they thought that was a good way out and they wouldn't have to bother about that side of the financial business.
So after the years passed by, he got too old to preach to their standard of things, and they had written to the headquarters in Germany for another minister. So they wrote back that they had a young man that's well-trained and can preach well, that they would send him out. So then the church committee told this old man that it was time for him to retire. So he said, "Why should I? I'm well able to continue." So they said, "Well, we have a new man coming, and it's up to you to retire." So he said, "You never told me about a new man coming." So they said, "we didn't need to tell you; we're the governing body of all this here."
"Well, he said, "I refuse to resign." So they said, "You have to receive instructions from us." But he said, "Well, you can't force me, because all this property is mine." So they said, "You're only in trust here." He said, "However, the property is mine. All of this, all the church buildings, everything belongs to me." So then they got angry and they took it to court, and in summing up, the judge said, "He's got everything in a water-tight case; it belongs to him. You can't do a thing." So they took it to the appeal court, the high court. They really couldn't afford it, but they were so upset over his attitude that they took him to high court. And that appeal judge said the same thing, "It is a water-tight case; It all belongs to him." "But," He said, "I'll add this: He's acted as a man without a single christian principle, a selfish-minded man." So to get him out, he said, "The only way I'll leave this here is that you'll have to buy it at my price." So, he put a very high price on it, so they had to really improverish themselves to get him out. And then the new man came. And it was just at that stage when Sam had landed in Stockport, and the people had said, "You go over to the district of Bethel, that's where they need to hear the Gospel."
So he started to walk, no cars in those days. And in the distance he saw a man working in the field. And that was my father. So he moved up to him. Sam was still governed by that spirit, "He is my guide." So they met, and he asked my father , "Now is there a place where we can have Gospel Meetings?"
And my father asked him the usual questions: "What is your name?" And he said, "Sam Jones." So he said, "What do you represent?" And Sam said, "I just preach Jesus Christ for the love of Jesus." And it was that last phrase that struck the right chord in my father's heart, what he had longed to hear for a long time, somebody preaching for the love of Jesus. So that was the great theme that moved Sam.
And in most of his hymns you'll trace that he writes about the Love of God. There is that one in our book, (201) "Not Beyond the Love of Jesus, Boundless is His Love and Mercy, Deeper Than the Deepest Sea, Vast, Unending, Never Failing, sure for All Eternity, Not Beyond the Love of Jesus, His vast Unmeasured wealth of love, sweet the Thought my Heart retaineth, I Am Not Beyond His Love."
So you can trace that right through. Some of those contrasted with that other one, 254, "I Love the Perfect way that leads to God and rest." Hymn 201 says, "Love begets the Love He Asketh." Hymn 254 says The Love Has Been Begotten where He says, "I Love the Perfect Way." I think 5 times in that hymn he says, "I Love" I Love the Perfect Way...I Love to follow Jesus...I Love His Holy Name...I love the Path He Trod...(chorus) I Love My Shepherd true. So this was the love that was a burning flame within Sam's heart.
So when he said to my father, "For the love of Jesus" He proved it in every sense. So my father said, "That's just what we need here. They only preach here for the love of money and we have no end of trouble." So my father said, "I'm only a junior here (my father was only married about 9 months then); You go to the new minister and you tell him you would like to preach in his church; because if you preach for the Love of Jesus, you should be given a hearing. "Twould be the answer to all our troubles here." Then he said "and if he won't give it to you, ask the chairman of the band hall. Because we only use it two evenings a week; He should give it to you." And then my father says he added something that he was surprised at the time that he said it, "If they won't give it to you, you come and have meetings in our home." Because he thought that if anybody would preach for the love of Jesus he should be given a hearing. It's the greatest message.
So by evening Sam was back and he said, "The new minister has refused to give the church because he says he can supply all the spiritual needs of the district. And then the chairman of the band hall said they don't give it for religious meetings." So my father got angry and he said, "They should have given it to you because that's a great message." He said, "I'll honor my promise: You come and have meetings in our home." So that's how they started.
Sam got a young companion from New Zealand by the name of Jim Valance, and my father said he was very young in the work and he couldn't preach at all because he was so nervous and shy. And he used to get tongue-tied before he got very far. And Sam would very graciously say, "That's all right, Jim, you just sit down for awhile. We'll sing a hymn, and you collect your thoughts and we'll try again."
My father said, "We don't remember a thing he said, but we remember his sincerity and his earnestness." After the hymn, he'd get up again and try again, and that sincerity and earnestness was such a contrast to the fine orator of the minister. So they knew he wasn't any better than the old man as far as having any feeling and consideration for his congregation.
This young man didn't attend the mission until the whole district was turning out, and he heard the reports, some were siding with Sam, some were finding fault, so he thought, "Well, this has gone far enough." So he let it be known that he'd expose them at the next service-Sam and Jim. So he invited the entire congregation to come and he said, "I'll tell you what they are like." So everybody went to church that Sunday, and then he started, and he said, "Now, these men have come and we hardly know where they've come. They'll be here today and gone tomorrow, and then you'll be left high and dry. They cannot tell you any more than I can tell you."
And he said, "They are wolves in sheep's clothing." He got all worked up. "They are hypocrites of the worst kind. Don't give them any hearing. Never let them in your home. And just tell them to move on." And my father just couldn't take it any longer, because he had heard enough to know the sincerity and earnestness of both, so he jumped up and he started to walk out. Mother jumped up and followed him.
An Uncle and Aunt did the same thing. Among the number, 24 of them walked out, and they kept calling out as they were going out, "Come, lost sheep, come back." But they wouldn't go back. And as that number went out, he said, "Silly fools, they'll all be back in six months." They never went back; that was the day of their decision. Sam tested the meeting that night and they all stood up again, and they never turned back.
So then, of course it brought a great division into the whole district and amongst some homes too. And that was about the time Sam Jones wrote that other hymn, 408, "No Reputation, with Jesus I go..." You see, my father was a bandmaster and choir leader and so on, so when he made his decision, he resigned. His music was his passion, his life, besides farming. So then he burnt all the music he had because it was his temptation - marches, waltzes, all of them, he put away.
He went and sold his trumpet so he wouldn't be tempted to go into that social life again. So we sometime later went over to our cousins. It was passed from generation, all this band music and instruments, and they were trying to coax us into it. So I said to my father one day, "Why did you sell your trumpet?"
"Well," He said, "For this reason, that it was my idol. I polished it, admired it, I played it at every turn. It's not wrong to have a trumpet if you own it, but if it owns you, it's an idol." "It has the place God should have," he said. "I'd discourage you from getting one, because you have my nature. I'll teach you how to play the piano." It was at that stage that a vacuum had more or less set in and Sam knew it. So he wrote those words, "No Reputation with Jesus I go; Willingly, cheerfully, My Life to sow...Misunderstood and by Worldlings Despised..." He said to my father, "Put a tune to that."
And that brought them closer together, an Irishman, and a German, who had nothing in common normally were being drawn closer and closer together. In that church that day there was one young girl that saw all this happening. She had been to the meetings and her heart was won. But her parents swung the other way and she told her parents afterwards, as they talked about this upheaval, she said, "Well, I would like to continue to go to those meetings." They said, "You are not to go, they're the worst kind." But she said, "They speak about Jesus and the love of Jesus." But they refused to let her go, so for two years she was kept a prisoner, more or less. She refused to go to church, they wouldn't let her go to the meetings, but she had a cousin that used to try to help her as much as he could.
He worked for my father and he was one of those that walked out that day. Well, he went into the work then, and he joined up with Jim Jardine. You may have heard of him, and they pioneered the work in Germany in 1913. And the war broke out then and they couldn't go to England because they came from Germany and were of German stock so they came over here to the states. And I was surprised to find a link here in Wisconsin. George Walker asked them (Otto Schmidt was his name) to go up to that part because there were Germans there.
And he preached there for about four years, around there, very successful missions. And when I went to Marion the other day for that convention I found out. The people told me, that it was that convention ground that Otto Schmidt helped to start in 1916. Now, I come out this way (Otto was at our home the day I was born.
He helped me to toddle my first steps and he said he'd take me to Germany for the work. But that part didn't work out.) And here at Marion where he had worked a mission, I met an old lady who had professed in this mission; and met another lady who said, "I'm living in the old school room where they had the mission," and she said, "It's been turned into a residence now." I met the second generation by the name of Jeskys, whose parents had professed in Otto's mission.
Well, it was Otto Schmidt's cousin who wanted to go to meeting, but was refused. Her name was Freda Schmidt. She left home when she became 21, and the opportunity opened up for her to go into the work. And when she went into the work, she told her mother about it, and her mother turned on her; she said, "I'd rather see you dead in the cemetery than see you go." But she said, "I'm preaching for the love of Jesus," and anyway, she kept going.
And then another side of the story was that when I was born in 1910, nine months after that upheaval (my people professed in April, 1910). I was born in November, and evidently I was quite a handful. So mother called her younger sister from over in another community, to be with her. So they took her to the meeting and she professed. And when she got back home she got into trouble, because grandfather was very opposed to it, her father. And he wrote one of the most hostile letters to my father that he ever got.
He said, "You're to blame. You let those two men into your district, now to think that my daughter..." and then he said, "she's not to go to a single meeting." And then she was a prisoner. And soon he wrote to my father, "You've let these men in, that have torn homes apart."
It's sad, but then only a month or two later, one of my auntie's brothers got caught in an oil engine as he was starting it and he was torn to pieces in it. Well, this softened grandfather a bit. And then another uncle was out plowing with the horses, and when he was turning the corner, he over balanced, and he pulled on the horses to stop, and they stopped with the wheel on top of him and he was killed.
So that softened my grandfather enough to let my auntie go to the meetings. Her name was Olga Hastings. So the two of them, my auntie and Freda Schmidt, went to Germany to preach in 1924, with a brother from here. You may know his name, Arnold Sharman. So the three went to Germany in 1924. They were there for 52 years. Arnold Sharman wrote to me two years ago and asked me to come to Germany to bring them home, their strength was gone. My auntie was 87 at that time, and Freda was about 84. So I had the conventions in Germany and brought them home, back to their own home.
And Auntie lived to see that convention through and she died just three months after getting home, and Freda died about ten months later. And both of them are buried in the same grave in the old home cemetery, beside my own mother, my uncle and Aunt, and those two boys that professed in 1910, Walter Houston and Gustave Jennings.
So there were three from that generation to go in the work, and there were eight of us from the next generation.
Just to mention in closing about the hymns: There is that one, 253, "I'm Satisfied in Jesus now." When Sam was preaching then for 20 years or more in South Australia, he moved down to the city of Canberra in the southern end of South Australia, and it was a place where it was very hard to get a batch.
And somebody told him there was a large horse stable in the outskirts of the town and you may find a place there to stay. So Sam was a great lover of animals, of nature and so on, he and his companion stayed the first night, and stayed on for more than that, working a mission there. Some professed. And it was those uninviting circumstances that he wrote that hymn, "I'm Satisfied in Jesus Now".
Not when I get out of here, but now. It is one of the best hymns he's ever written. In India, there was a Hindu lecturer of English who attended the meetings. He didn't profess, but he was impressed by that hymn. After the service, he came and spoke to one of the brothers and said, "This is one of the finest hymns that I've seen, because every line is a complete statement and expresses a wonderful thought." "Now," he says, "The finest line (I'm satisfied in Jesus now) is a statement, full and complete.
Then "I feel the pressure of His hand, assuring me that he is mine." "My weary heart has found its home." Each definite statements, full and complete. Then the chorus, the best partof it, an expression again about the love of God: "Oh, Fellowship Supremely Sweet, Oh Matchless Love so Pure, Divine; My Soul has found a sure retreat, the lowly Jesus now is Mine." Perhaps I might speak about the other poet that lived there, a Scottish poet, Adam Lindsey Gordon. He was before Sam's time.
He came out and joined the police force as a trooper. He was a very daring, skillful rider. Mt Gambier is at the foot of an old volcano, a large crater filled as a lake now, very scenic, a picture. Around the perimeter of it, they have built a road and Gordon was challenged one day that he couldn't jump his horse from one side of the bend right over to the other side, something like 50 feet. So he took up the challenge, and he jumped his horse clean over the chasm.
If he'd missed, it was 350 feet down to the water, sure death. Then he turned the horse around and galloped and jumped again the other way. Why I mentioned this is that there is now a pillar marking this, it is called Adam's leap" marking what they call the greatest deed. But then 18 miles away he had his retreat. He was a kind of restless type of man. He was member of parliament at one stage; he lived a very social life. There were reckless things he did with his horse, but ever restless.
But he used to get to this retreat, 18 miles away where he had built a little home, a very fine, quiet spot. And that was, too, where Sam wrote some of the hymns when he worked a mission down there. But he's long since dead, Adam Lindsey Gordon. But that was where he wrote a lot of his poetry. And that was where he wrote that fine verse that seemed to impress Sam so much. It was, "Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone: kindness in another's trouble, courage in your own." Well, he lived too fast a life, and at one stage he had to face the bankruptcy court because he had lived beyond his means.
The shame of it was more than he could take and he took a gun and went and shot himself down at the beach. He had written, "Kindness in another's trouble, courage in your own" and he couldn't take it. And Sam had written those words, "My Restless Soul is Calm and Still; My Weary Heart Has Found its Home." This man never seemed to find it.
I was in London two years ago, and we were passing Westminster Abbey where some of the kings and queens and great people are buried. On one side is the poet's corner and there is Adam Lindsey Gordon's bust in marble, just the date he was born and when he died. But life was only froth and bubble to him. Sam, as far as the world is concerned, is unrecognized, but his hymn lives to us still. "I'm Satisfied in Jesus Now." Lindsey never found the secret of it, never really looked to the right source of it.
Then I'll just finish with a hymn. It isn't Sam's, but it is equally important to us because it's a West Australian hymn. It is 292. It's a hymn that means a lot to me because I knew the man that wrote it, too, and it had its effect in my life. It was written by a Baptist minister. Well, he wasn't one then. He was a minister by the name of Radford, Eustace Radford. In 1913, two sister workers were in the suburb of our city of Perth, and they met his wife.
They never had any children, but his wife was one of the finest women they ever met. I just met her; I didn't know her well. She was a very gracious lady, gentle, and because they had no children they were very close to each other. So she met these sister workers and she told them, "I think my husband will give you the church to preach in if you ask him." So she spoke for them to him. And he agreed to let them have his church on the nights he didn't preach.
So they held those meetings for awhile, but he didn't attend; However, he used to listen from the vestry. And it was getting him very disturbed and he couldn't gainsay what they said because it was all backed up by the scriptures. So he had a talk with them one time, and then he confessed. He said, "I've been listening. I know what you preach is correct.
I know that I've been on the wrong track. I'm willing to accept what you have said and follow the truth as it is in Jesus." And he said, "I would like you to come to my last service next Sunday; it's my last one. I'll have to tell the congregation what has happened and I'd like you to be there." So they went along.
He had a hymn, just a short prayer, then they had another hymn, and then he got up and he said, (one of the sister workers told me this herself, the younger worker, she died just only recently) "I'm sorry to tell you that all these years I've been deceiving you ignorantly, and I have been deceived too. But the two ladies have been preaching the truth as it is in Jesus and I recognize what is the right way now, and I'm willing to follow as it has been revealed to me.
And I advise all you people to make the same decision as I and my wife have made." Only one family responded. The rest wouldn't. So he gave out that hymn that's in our book (224), "O Jesus I have promised to serve thee to the end. Be thou forever near me, my Master and My Friend."
And then I met him (Eustace Radford) in 1948 which was my second time back to Ceylon. So leaving out of our city of Perth, the port is Freemantle, was our last line with Australia. The goodbyes had been said, and I didn't always feel the brightest leaving father and mother and so on, so he was down at the wharf and he must have been watching. So he came over to me and he said, "I know how you're feeling. We get down a bit sometimes. I'll tell you about a hymn that I wrote the night my wife died. She died in 1932 and we were so close that when she died, I thought my world had all gone to pieces. The bottom had dropped out of everything.
But I got down and prayed and asked God to help me, and then these words came to me: 'In times of deepest darkness, of sorrow and distress, The Lord draws near to chasten, to comfort and to bless. His hand outstretched in mercy corrects our wandering feet, and draws through mists and shadows to fellowship more sweet." Then he said, "Now, listen to the second verse," and he put his hand on my shoulder, "How can we fear the future when love has planned the way which leads o'er hills and valleys to one eternal day?"
"Now," he said, "You're not going on a holiday, or kind of adventure of your own. Love has planned the way. So you've got nothing to fear. How can you fear the future?" And then another part of a verse came to him, "E'en death at last is conquered, the grave has lost its fear; and all faith sees is heaven, throw wide its portals here."
That part is on their tombstone in that cemetery where they are buried close to Sam Jones. Then the last verse, "So, struggling soul, press onward, and keep the goal in view; What God has done in others, he, too, can do in you. Fear neither past nor future; Let love the victory give, and through eternal ages your soul in Christ shall live." I never forgot that old man's words. I never saw him again, but he lives in my memory. Those things always come to me.
He speaks about three fears there: (1) How can we fear the future? (2) The grave has lost its fear. (3) Fear neither past nor future. That man's words sent me on my way rejoicing back to these people, to Ceylon. Well, that is a little bit of it. I often say, "The Kingdom of God is built on sacrifice, and it is maintained by sacrifice. Mostly the great sacrifice of Jesus of leaving the glories of heaven, and then others' sacrifice to bring the Gospel to Sam Jones and the love of God gripped him and he counted it no sacrifice to leave the green fields of Ireland to come out to the primitive farms and the pioneering country of Western Australia with its lack of conveniences and comforts.
Love urged him on. "The Truth of God so Precious I value more each day." And that moved him to say, "He is My Guide." and then my father heard him say, "I preach for the love of Jesus" and saw the sacrifice of Sam and Jim, and he wasn't ashamed to jump up and leave the church that day for the last time.
And I feel that even for myself, it is such a sacrifice of others here in the United States. It was such a privilege to meet George Walker coming here in 1903 and see the love and zeal that he has. Sacrifice is moving them on, maintained by sacrifice, but none of them counting it as sacrifice. The same is here, in this the state of California, where the servants labor, not counting it a sacrifice because love never counts anything it does as a sacrifice. It's a precious privilege to be with you. I thank you for listening.
TTT Editor's corrections made above: Sam's companion’s name is Valance (not Vallents or Balance as in some other versions of this account) Lynnwood,
From a review of Hymns Old and New:
Sam Jones was born in Portadown, North Ireland, in 1877. He went forth to preach in 1902 and in 1908 went to South Australia. He moved to Western Australia about 1909, and from there to Tasmania, where he spent about twenty years.
He had not been home for 30 years when he came back to England in 1938. He returned to Australia. He died of heart failure on Sunday, April 14, 1946. Sam Jones might well be called "The sweet Psalmist of Israel" in our day because of the number of hymns he wrote and their fragrance and spiritual thought. He loved to dwell much on the theme of redemption and God's will and purpose to conform us to His image.
The following is a list of 104 of Sam's hymns found in our present book:
3, 14, 19, 22, 27, 29, 32, 34, 40, 42, 44, 50, 53, 67, 76, 77, 78, 80, 92, 94, 103, 107, 111, 114, 116, 121, 122, 126, 131, 134, 135, 136, 142, 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 149, 150, 152, 154, 155, 162, 169, 177, 185, 186, 188, 190, 192, 194, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 205, 206, 211, 212, 213, 217, 219, 222, 233, 241, 246, 249, 250, 252, 253, 254, 262, 264, 268, 273, 274, 275, 290, 295, 307, 309, 311, 313, 316, 318, 326, 331, 336, 345, 346, 360, 371, 373, 374, 380, 390, 391, 393, 394, 396, and 408.